Those of us on the east coast are bracing for what the weather forecasters are calling a fairly substantial storm, Irene. Here’s hoping that the damage will be minimal; and that if you’re on the east coast, that you and yours will be safe and sound by the end of it all.
Continuing with my briefer comments on the Proverbs:
“The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3, NAS95 — It would be funny, if it weren’t so tragic. People ruin their own chances at happiness with their sinful behavior and then blame God for their plight. How many families are ruined by a fling? How many careers are ruined by a get-rich-quick effort? How many marriages have been soured by selfish criticism, vengeance, lack of forgiveness, or a lazy failure to live up to vows? And how many times have men blamed God for the curses they brought on themselves?
“One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.” Proverbs 19:17, NAS95. — What a lovely paradigm or frame for benevolence; a frame that would encourage helping the poorer than we are—we are lending to the Lord. Jesus’ teaching about the judgement in Matt. 25:31ff is a parallel in that He tells us that as we help one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you have helped Me. Perhaps the “lending to the Lord” understanding would make us less likely to seek repayment; since it is God’s debt, let God repay it in His own time (He certainly has given to us often enough).
“A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19, NAS95. — Rescue of a hot-head will only temporary. Their passionate anger leads them to ignore consequences altogether. It is better that such people pay the penalty as often as they offend; it is probably the only thing that will moderate their immoderate behavior.
“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth.” Proverbs 19:24, NAS95 — You can give a lazy man every advantage in the book, but he’ll never use them. It will always be too much effort.
“Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.” Proverbs 19:25, NAS95 — Prisons have sometimes been called the graduate school of criminals. Although there are some who emerge from prison and never want to return again, there are many more who simply learn how to accomplish their criminal (foolish) ends without getting caught — they become more shrewd. Wise men, on the other hand, grow repentant and choose not to return to sin.
“Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?” Proverbs 20:6, NAS95 — Everyone likes to think of themselves as loyal, but when push comes to shove, self-interest compromises the loyalty of many.
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made both of them.” Proverbs 20:12, NAS95 — Why would this proverb be of any use? The LORD who made our eyes and ears also sees and hears — everything.
“He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 20:19, NAS95. — Can the person who spreads the secrets of others be trusted to keep your confidences? How do you suppose he/she finds out the secrets of others — by pledging confidence, like he/she did to you?
“Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.” Proverbs 21:4, NAS95 — Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” In contrast to this, this proverb tells us that lamp of the wicked is pride and self-deceived arrogance. Pride directs the steps of the wicked, is the “true north” of the sinful. Sadly such a “lamp” leads to death, not life (Rom. 6:23).
“It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 21:9, NAS95 — The strength of a man is his muscular strength and he is prohibited from using it against his wife. Such behavior is despised and considered brutal. The strength of women is their tongues, and sometimes it is used just as brutally as a man’s fist — only sometimes the bruises and wounds remain a lifetime. No wonder some men choose to spend more time at the office or among friends than at home; it is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a verbally brutal woman.
“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.” Proverbs 21:30, 31, NAS95 — You cannot win against God. You’re not smart enough; your security isn’t secure enough for Him to not know your plan; you’re not powerful enough; your won’t last longer than Him; you won’t be able to wear Him down with your argument; you will not be able to justify yourself; you will not be able to trick Him; you won’t be able to bully Him; you won’t be able to outrun Him; and you’ll never be able to gather an army large enough or strong enough to defeat Him. It’s better to humbly realize that He is God and we are men. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10, NAS95.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.